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Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is cloud-based team collaboration software that is part of the Office 365 suite of applications. The core capabilities in Microsoft Teams include business messaging, calling, video meetings and file sharing. 

Microsoft Teams is best for

  • Hosting and scheduling video meetings. 
  • File storage. 
  • Communicating and sharing links with the collaborative chat function.
  • Group brainstorming sessions
  • Employee meetings.

Limitations

  • Can be a difficult transition from outlook.
  • Limited ability to alter permission settings:
    • Everyone can access files if shared via teams.

Accessibility

Accessibility features in Teams include:

  • Screen reader
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Live closed captioning (US English only)
  • Language translation
  • Customizable fonts for visual and cognitive needs 
  • Audio messaging
  • Immersive reader

Learn about using VoiceOver with Microsoft Teams for Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android, and Web with Accessibility support for Microsoft Teams.

Support 

  • Teams is supported by Computing and Communications Services
  • Need help? Visit the CCS Teams support page for more information. 

Resources

Skype for Business

Skype for Business is a unified communications platform that integrates common channels of business communication and online meetings, including instant messaging, presence, voice over, voicemail, file transfers, video conferencing, web conferencing, and email.

Skype for Business is best for

  • Smaller sessions where you know the participants and/or can communicate easily with them:
  • Instructor meetings and consultations.

Limitations

  • Participants may get confused between Skype personal and Skype for business when attempting to join.

Accessibility

  • People with vision impairments can get shared content on their own devices. This lets them use their favourite assistive technologies, such as a screen reader or magnifier.
  • People with hearing impairments can get transcription services in real-time, through Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). 

Learn how to make your Skype for Business meetings more accessible to people with disabilities with step-by-step instructions for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, here.

Make your Skype for Business meetings more accessible to people with disabilities.

Learn how to navigate Skype for Business using accessible features.

Support 

  • Skype for Business is supported by Computing and Communications Services.
  • Need help? Visit the CCS Skype support page for more information.  

Resources

Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom is an online learning environment that allows for live interaction between the tutor and the learners as they are participating in learning activities. Powered by Bongo in Courselink.

Virtual Classroom is best for

  • Course specific instruction (option to record and share later).
  • Screen and presentation sharing.
  • Virtual whiteboard uses.

Limitations

  • Based entirely in Courselink, so users have to be enrolled in the course and are thus identifiable as members of that community.

Accessibility

Accessibility through Virtual Classroom/Bongo is limited to captioning videos, and requires an individual to take on the role of ‘Caption Manager’ in order to make recorded videos accessible to students. A Caption Manager would have to create an account, then they would have the ability to download the videos from Bongo and upload them into their captioning software, caption the video, and upload the caption file back into Bongo. The Caption Managers are given the option to view or to download the videos, then upload either a transcript or caption file. 

When a learner requires captioning, a member from the accessibility team can contact the Bongo support team with the learners name, school and email address. After activating captions for their account, any videos the learner sees will be first filtered to the Caption Manager.

Learn more about Bongo's accessibility features.

Support 

Resources

Webex

WebeEx Meetings is a cloud-based web and video conferencing service that enables global and virtual teams to collaborate on mobile devices and video systems in real time. WebEx includes features such as screen sharing, meeting recording, customizable layouts and meeting broadcasting.

WebEx is best for

  • Instructor meetings and consultations. 
  • Virtual lectures and video recording.
  • Webinars.
  • Sharing files, documents and screens.
  • Live streaming. 
  • Brainstorming sessions

Limitations

  • Must have internet access for video:
    • Has a phone-in option. 

Accessibility

Keyboard Navigation:

  • Webex has limited keyboard navigation support.
  • Ctrl + Shift + Alt – Display/Hide the control bar.

Low Vision Support:

  • Webex supports the high contrast scheme of the Windows OS.
  • Supports the zoom functionality of the OS.
  • Supports a high contrast scheme only with the high-contrast extension of Chrome browser.
  • Supports browser text resizing and zoom functionality.

Screen Reader Support:

  • Webex works with the latest version of JAWS screen reader.
  • All the keyboard shortcuts listed in the Keyboard Navigation section work with Screen Reader.

Read more about Webex Web App Accessibility Features.

Support 

  • Webex is supported by Computing and Communications Services.  
  • Need help? Visit the CCS Webex support page for more information. 

Resources

Zoom

Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a desktop and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video. Zoom users can choose to record sessions, collaborate on projects, and share or annotate on one another’s screens, all with one easy-to-use platform. 

To obtain a zoom pro license contact CourseLink Technical Support.

Zoom is best for

  • Video meetings
  • Hosting webinars
  • Collaboration:
    • Enables conference rooms, cross-platform messaging and file sharing.

Limitations

  • With the free plan, the maximum time is 40 minutes and the maximum amount of users at a time is 50. 

Accessibility

Zoom designs, develops and tests their products to include the following accessibility features: 

  • Closed captioning
  • Keyboard accessibility, supporting Keyboard Shortcuts for easy navigation of Zoom features.
  • Automatic transcripts
  • Screen reader support. 

Read more about Zoom’s accessibility features.

Support 

Resources

Resources

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